The Federal Open Market Committee held the funds rate in its 0% to 0.25% range at its January meeting and "most of the words were the same as in the December press release, but rearranged," reports David WYss, managing director for Standard and Poor's. “The committee continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for some time," according to the FOMC report. It continues to see that “the economy has weakened further” and now believes “global demand appears to be slowing significantly.” It also stated that “inflation pressures will remain subdued,” and that “inflation could persist…below rates that best foster economic growth and price stability.” "But rates are as low as they can go, so the Fed will continue to intervene in other security markets," says Wyss. "The problem isn’t the level of interest rates to banks or the Treasury, but rather borrowing costs for businesses and individuals. As a result, it intends to employ all available tools, implying continued purchases of private securities such as mortgage-backed securities and commercial paper, in order to keep financial markets functioning." For the first time, the FOMC also said it is “prepared to purchase longer-term Treasury securities” if needed to cut long-term interest rates, he says. "There was one dissent, as Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said that he would prefer to operate only in Treasury securities. I tend to believe that the majority is correct, and that the problem is credit spreads, not Treasury interest rates. The private economy is moved by the cost and availability of private borrowing, not public debt costs."